ECOSYSTEM : CERES, Ceestial body in the asteroid belt

TEAM MEMBERS : Laurent Patry Beaudoin, Théophile Bégin



The work presented here is an attempt to popularize and generate interest in science and technology among young people with dynamic and, let's be honest, very cool graphics. In view of the extended occupation of the solar system by humans, it will become necessary to establish distant spatial bases in order to limit dependence on the Earth. Ceres will serve as a supply base for missions carrying humans and materials to the limits of the solar system such as for missions to the moons of Saturn. The low gravity on the surface of Ceres allows rockets to take off after refueling at a very low fuel cost. In addition, the exploitation of the planet's ice will be used to produce the H2 serving as fuel and the O2 as an oxidizer for the propulsion of rockets. These two unique characteristics make Ceres an ideal candidate for a refueling base. One of the principal resources of Ceres belongs in its mantle of ice. Geysers allow to collect water that is used to produce dioxygen and dihydrogen which are key components to preserve life and to refueling rockets that travel by the dwarf planet. Part of the water exploitation will be possible due to sublimation caused by the low atmospheric pressure at Ceres’ surface.

Here is the translated texts of the poster:

Ceres’ surface is made of clay, iron, ice, carbonate minerals and silicate minerals essential components to the creation of amorphous glass for the construction and for the maintenance of the dome structure of the base. Ceres’ mantle has a thickness of 60 to 120 km and is made mostly of ice. Ceres’ core is rocky.

Ceres’ atmosphere is increasingly made of CO2 and O2 in result of the glass production and the electrolysis of water molecules. These gases generate greenhouse effect that help warm up the habitable zone of the dwarf planet.

Silicate’s minerals are used to construct a glass dome that allows the creation of an atmosphere and also help protect the base from solar radiation due to its water circulating system.

Principal source of energy : 1. Collect water gases by elastic pockets. 2. Produce H2 and O2 from H2O by electrolysis. 3. Stock the gases; H2 will be stocked in tanks where there is no light so that the temperature is low enough to keep it liquid. 4. Refueling rockets that are propelled by liquid dihydrogen.

Water will be stocked into the habitable zone. This water will help regulate temperature because of its high heat capacity. It will also provide liquid water to the population. Solar panels will be used as a backup energy source particularly useful at the beginning of the colony. Advanced hydroponics techniques allow the farming of plants. Ceres’ short orbit allows a good light exposition. Following the progress in the nuclear fusion field, every element needed as fertilizer will be created artificially onto Ceres (phosphorus, nitrogen, potassium).

Every means of transport on the dwarf planet uses some rails because of the very low gravity force. Ceres’ gravitational acceleration is 0,27 m/s2 compared to 9,81 m/s2 for the Earth. This disadvantage for transport becomes an advantage for the construction of infrastructures: the low gravity acceleration decreases forces felt by structures. Risks of meteorite hits are low because of Ceres’ position in the solar system. In the asteroids belt, collisions occur once every 100 000 years.